Delhi to Chitkul is around 620 KM and you will take you around 2 days to reach there, however i am covering this in the same article as there is not much to explore in the first day of the trip. Shimla was around 400 Km from my home in Gurgaon and Chitkul is another 280 KM from Shimla. As usually happens started with around 5, only 2 of us were finally there to cover Spiti but that did not stopped us from exploring The Spiti Valley also known as “The Forbidden Valley”. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”, i.e. the land between Tibet and India.
Start your day as early as you can from Delhi to beat Delhi traffic, we started around 5:30. Unfortunately i forgot to take my bikes’ documents with me and had to go back to home and we lost an hour in it, being a Saturday morning we were able to cross Delhi by 7:30. NH44 connects Delhi to Chandigarh and will take your 4 hours to cover around 240 KM including breaks. Chandigarh to Shimla is another 3 but it took around 5 hours for as my friends bike got punctured and we lost around an hour it. Finally at around 6:00 PM we reached Shimla and decided to take a halt, dumped our stuff in hotel and strolled on Mall road for some time. Delhi to Shimla is not very scenic but you will enjoy the drive on NH44 and the foggy roads will be waiting to welcome you in Shimla. Don’t forget to take out cash in Shimla the next place that you can rely for an ATM is Kaza, although there is an ATM in Tabo, Rekong Peo but I don’t know how reliable those are and it’s always better to keep some extra cash with you.
The best way to travel in Spiti Valley is to start your day early as there is nothing much to do in evenings in most of the places apart from kaza. We started around 5:30 AM from Shimla with 8 hours drive ahead of us. It took us around 2 hours to reach Narkanda, It was a treat driving from Narkanda to Rampur, the road is newly constructed and you can zoom upto 80 Kmph at hills. Although you drive on Hindustan Tibet Highway for most of the time but the road from Rampur to Chitkul is unpleasant but scenic. We reached Chitkul at around 3:30 and were all set to explore Chitkul.
Situated at an altitude of 3450 Mtrs and on the banks of Baspa river lies the last inhabited place in India before Indo-Tibet border named Chitkul, the beauty of which is unmatched and incomparable. As you get closer the Chitkul the road becomes more and more narrow and views more mesmerising to distract you. As you enter Chitkul the valley opens with Baspa river welcoming you with the music of gushing water , snow peaked mountains on the left, farms all around the village and Indo-Tibet border in-front and not to forget that the local children who will come running towards you as park your bike and ask you for a ride. Once checked in the hotel go for a stroll around the village, talk to the local people and try to explore their way of living. There is a small Mahi Temple in the village, Mahi is the local goddess of the people of Chitkul. Go for a walk along the river Baspa, ride till the Indo-Tibetan Check Post which is around 3 KM from Chitkul and sit in the temple and get the feel of gentle breeze touching your face, music of river Baspa with the portrait of mountains in front, you won’t get a better chance to enjoy your moment of solitude. Oh wait! it’s Spiti Valley, you will have your moments :D.
Places to stay:
There are a lot of some 3-4 hotels in Chitkul and another 2-3 home-stay. The prices are quite cheap and you can get a room for 300 rupees. Make sure you get a room with the view of Valley so that you can enjoy the sunrise sitting in your room itself.
There are not many options available for food, you can get Dal, Chawal, Rajma, Potato. There is also a small shop where you can get some snacks and cold-drinks if you want.
With Sky overlooking Mountains, beautiful Medows, Sangla Valley, Baspa River flowing alongside; Chitkul is a perfect start to the trip to Spiti Valley.